INNOVATION

MAZDA CX-5: THE MAKING OF AN ICON

Five designers from the Mazda CX-5 design team offer insights into their sources of inspiration,

exploring what led them to the path of automotive design and what drove them to Mazda.

FROM CON­CEPT TO CAR

In 2010 when Mazda unveiled the Shinari – a four-door sports coupe concept – it also revealed its new design direction ‘Kodo – Soul of Motion’. This styling was incorporated into its next concept, the Minagi compact crossover SUV, which also brought to the public’s attention Mazda’s suite of Skyactiv technologies. The award-winning Mazda CX‑5 followed soon after, debuting at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. It combined both Kodo and Skyactiv attributes and set out a new blueprint for the company’s future.

The Minagi concept car was inspired by the image of a cheetah ready to pounce on its prey.

 

LEADING DESIGN

“Creating an SUV that would appeal globally was a difficult task,” recalls Masashi Nakayama, General Manager of Mazda’s Design Division who styled the original CX-5. “But we set ourselves the challenge, bringing together conflicting design elements – adding sporty components to an SUV – resulting in a vehicle that can be called the ‘CX-5 segment’.”

The second generation CX-5 launched in 2016. Shinichi Isayama, the chief designer, says: “The second generation CX-5 built on (and progressed) the original car’s key features, such as the beautiful exterior and high-quality interior.” “I think that the emotional value of the CX-5’s design is understood and loved by Mazda customers. I’m incredibly proud to have played a role in the car’s design and development.”

 

The latest model shares the same design DNA as its predecessor with Nakayama adding, “We didn’t want to change parts of the design that resonate with our customers, but instead advance the car’s signature design to enhance its unique form, especially at the front of the car.” Chief Designer of the new CX-5, Takanori Tsubaki emphasises this point adding, “We fitted elongated, headlights that both enhance the car’s sense of strength, and also provide extra safety on the road at night, courtesy of the powerful ALH beams (Adaptive LED Headlights).” The CX-5’s design credentials even extend to the paintwork. It was the first vehicle to wear Soul Red Crystal, which has become synonymous with Mazda. And now the brand-new Zircon Sand Metallic colour has been added to the palette.

CHAL­LEN­GING CON­VEN­TI­ON

From battling the elements in Chile to exploring Vietnam on and off the beaten track, the CX-5 has proven it can handle any terrain. In 2019 a fleet of CX-5s set off from the U.K. travelling through ice and snow to reach Nordkapp, the northernmost point of mainland Europe. The CX-5 has also crossed the world’s oldest and deepest lake – the frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia – becoming the first car manufacturer to achieve this feat. More recently, the CX-5 excelled in a 100,000-kilometre endurance test conducted by German magazine Auto Bild, achieving one of the best marks ever awarded and earning a fourth-place spot in its all-time rankings.

The Mazda CX-5 in Chile

The Mazda CX-5 successfully reach the arctic circle.

Mazda CX-5 in Vietnam

Crossing the Hai Van Pass, Southeast Asia's most famous driving road.

As the first car ever the Mazda CX-5 crossed the frozen lake Baikal in Siberia.

AWARDS AND IN­TER­NA­TIO­NAL RE­CO­GNI­TI­ON

The CX-5 is one of the best-selling Mazdas worldwide, holding the number one spot in the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. It has won over 100 awards internationally, taking home 45 accolades in its launch year alone. And its safety credentials include a TOP SAFETY PICK award consecutively since 2012 from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Other outstanding achievements include WWCOTY Family Car of the Year (2017) and two highly coveted awards for Best New Small Utility Vehicle (2018) and Best New Mid-Size Utility Vehicle (2019) from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. In Europe, the CX-5 was voted Best in Test in the Mid-Class SUV category for the Dutch Consumer Association’s annual Car Guide (2015), beating nine other competitors to the title.

WHICH CX-5 SUITS YOUR LIFE­STYLE?

The Mazda CX-5 is an exciting SUV that you can enjoy with your family as well as on your own without compromises. One of the most popular SUVs in its class, it offers powerful, yet comfortable driving with a welcoming cabin and plenty of cargo space for all your activates. Of course, it also offers a wide range of advanced Mazda safety technologies along with excellent connectivity.

DISCOVER THE MAZDA CX-5

INSPIRATION ON BOARD

Discover what makes Mazda a brand like no other: unique, expressive, individual. We've collected some of the most inspiring content about what goes into our cars as well as where they can take you. Ready to get on board?

MEET THE MAKERS

The Mazda CX-5 is all about the designers. Given free rein to follow their inspiration, they made the Mazda vision and philosophy into a best-selling SUV.

LEARN MORE
PRACTICALITY & PERFORMANCE

Take a seat in this iconic convertible for a road trip across the Outer Hebrides. It's a story of agility, breathtaking views and a few unexpected twists.

LEARN MORE
UNIQUE JAPANESE DESIGN

Explore reasons behind Mazda's reputation for iconic design. Our Takumi masters use a language of forms and space to create the feeling of dynamic motion.

LEARN MORE
THE WORLD'S GREATEST DRIVES

Join Mazda on exciting trips along Norwegian fjords as well as on the coast of Portugal and all through the mountains of Japan.

LEARN MORE